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29 States call on Saudi Arabia at the HRC to release women political detainees

لقرائته بالعربية اضغط هنا

On behalf of 29 countries, Denmark raised fears regarding the status of human rights in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In a joint statement during the Human Rights Council’s 45th session in Geneva, on 15 September 2020, Denmark voiced its deep regret for “the continued detention of at least five women human rights defenders, arrested in 2018” and reiterated their calls for “the release of all political detainees.”

The countries expressed their concern over the use of counterterrorism measures against those peacefully exercising their rights, as well as over abuse of detainees, including torture, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearance, and denial of medical treatment and contact with families.

The statement noted that recent measures, concerning flogging, the death penalty, and women’s rights, do not rise to the level of actual improvements in human rights.

Given that Saudi Arabia is expected to run in the October 2020 elections for membership in the HRC, the states stressed that the council’s member states must expect general scrutiny of their human rights records.

ESOHR welcomes the joint statement critical of Saudi violations, which is the third of its kind at the HRC. Saudi Arabia was previously the subject of criticism from several states in March 2019 and September 2019. ESOHR stresses the importance of not being drawn into Saudi official propaganda that claims reforms that do not in reality protect victims.

Signatories to the statement: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

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